As I said in a previous post, being on the front line of a potential global pandemic is fascinating and not a little scary. Since I shared my thoughts about swine flu, it appears that though the disease continues to spread, it is currently neither as contagious nor as deadly as experts feared. We will see how it evolves and whether it adapts to become a serious threat or not.
In the meantime, because sometimes we have to find humor to ease our stress, I will share several of my favorite moments in the epidemic so far:
- The so-called swine flu has been renamed 2009-H1N1. That is a *very* catchy name. However, I suspect that this re-branding effort will fail and “swine flu” will stick.
- I have had many families tell me in great detail about their latest pork meals. I especially loved hearing about my 2-year-old patient who dined on wild boar from his uncle’s ranch in Oregon (I am a big fan of little adventurous eaters!) Swine flu, however, is not transmitted by eating pork. But please wash your hands before you eat your bacon.
- Many schools are asking parents to bring their barely-sniffling child to the doctor and not return until they can produce a doctor’s note attesting that Johnny “does not have swine flu.” We can’t test every child with a sniffle, and the results are not available for several days. I can’t say with honesty that Johnny doesn’t have the swine flu. So please, dear schoolmasters, do not make things more difficult with these requests.
- We had to remove the masks from our waiting room in my clinic because people were grabbing them by the handful. Kind of like when my dad used to make my stepmother stash stacks of the delicious “squaw” bread they made at the Chart House into her purse…. Well, not really like that. Anyway, amazon.com and other retailers are offering great deals on these masks so please don’t feel the need to steal them from your doctor.
As we watch this unfolding story, feel free to share your thoughts and stories about finding humor in the stress and chaos of an evolving epidemic.